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668 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Dec 28, 2012 2:03 PM by TimothyDM RSS
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TimothyDM Calculating status...
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Dec 25, 2012 11:16 AM

I have two issues that may be related. They both concern trying to listen to multiple-"song" works in the right order.


First, when I sort my songs by name, iTunes has its own idea of what the order should be, occasionally completely scrambling numerical order. The picture below shows an example. We should have each "Daphnis et Chloe" item in order of number (as the "Le Tombeau de Couperin" items below it are), but the order is 1, 3, 5, 21, 24, 15, 18, 8… Also, this applies only to certain works; the vast majority of the time, iTunes gets it right, but if it get a particular work wrong, it always gets it wrong.


Screen Shot 2012-12-25 at 12.50.04 PM.png


Similarly, iTunes seems to have a default order of songs for certain works that is not the original album order. This is a problem for smart playlists, which order certain things in really odd combinations; some works are split up among other works that weren't even in the same album. The picture below, snapped from a smart playlist, shows that the standard order for these unrelated works is to take a single movement ("song") from each of five works at a time: Whereas the "Micro-Symphony" should all be grouped together, the Beethoven concerto should be in one place, the Mozart serenade should be in one place, and each of the Bach works should be together, as they were in their original albums (and this selection represents at least four completely different albums), they are split up so that not even two adjacent movements are together in this particular case. In other (but much less common) cases, a group of songs from one album will be together, but in the wrong order (so that I end up listening to the first movement last). Is there a way to change this default order?


Screen Shot 2012-12-25 at 1.10.08 PM.png




-Timothy Moser

  • kilima Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)
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    Dec 25, 2012 1:28 PM (in response to TimothyDM)

    For the first case with Daphnis et Chloe, I would make sure that all the numbers are 2 digits. Change 1 to 01 etc.

    iTunes doesn't "get it wrong". iTunes can only work with the material you give it. Only you can "massage" the data (in this case the song name) to make it work the way you want it to.


    The second case, the playlist, it is not sorted at all as you have the heading for manual sorting highlighted. I suggest you also include the column for Album and sort on that. See if that works.

  • kilima Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 25, 2012 2:52 PM (in response to TimothyDM)

    Have you checked that there is not something in the Sort Name field.

  • kilima Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)
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    Dec 26, 2012 12:09 AM (in response to TimothyDM)

    Sort Name, Sort Album, etc also hold for all playlists.

  • pixelcolor Calculating status...
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    Dec 26, 2012 9:21 AM (in response to TimothyDM)

    A shot in the dark here but is access to the Gracenote Database set to automatic? Some of the stuff that's "out there" might have been submitted incorrectly ...

  • kilima Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 26, 2012 10:09 AM (in response to TimothyDM)

    Then I really don't understand what the problem is ? "Default order of songs" is what you describe it as in your first post. Or a little futher down "playlists, which order certain things in really odd combinations".

    If you order things, surely you are sorting. ??

  • kilima Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 26, 2012 10:37 AM (in response to TimothyDM)

    The order of the songs in a playlist is determined by the way YOU specify that it should be sorted. If you don't specify a sort order (ie manual) then the songs are not sorted and can appear in any order.

  • kilima Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 26, 2012 11:56 AM (in response to TimothyDM)

    If there is no sort order specified for your smart playlist and you change the selection parameters, then the selection has to be completely re-evaluated. Have some of your previously selected songs now disappeared ?. Have new songs been added ?. And what goes where, depends entirely on the changes made. There is no black magic. If you don't specify how you want things sorted, iTunes will add things to the playlist in the manner that it sees fit.

    How does it see fit ? Presumably in the order it evaluates the selection criteria, followed presumably by the order of the items in your library as it searches. That result is random because it has no relation to the fields you have selected. It is random and you can not and should not depend on it, no matter that you want to and are trying to and are irritated beacause it won't bend to your will. You should not depend on it, because the next iTunes might have a different and more efficient way to evaluate and select which will give another random order.


    If you want things in order you have to sort them. That is a fact of the universe.

    If "name" is not sufficient to get your desired order, then you have to fix the name.

    That's what Sort Name is for. Try it and see.


    Sorry if it seems that I'm "banging on", but you must stop blaming iTunes and learn how to "massage" your data so that it behaves the way you want it to.

  • kilima Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 26, 2012 12:17 PM (in response to TimothyDM)

    Aw shucks Tim, don't give up.

    Give me a full example of this "multi-movement works" and I'll give it my best shot to help you. I'm pretty good at this sort of thing.

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